Fugitive child abductor, Tad Cummins, was arrested and 15-year-old Elizabeth Thomas was recovered safe, in northern California, last night
The 50-year-old former Tennessee teacher was apprehended in Siskiyou County, Calif., in the company of Thomas, five weeks after the pair fled home
Local Sheriff’s Office says Cummins’ Nissan Rogue was found Wednesday on the California-Oregon border
Officials believe Cummins kidnapped his teen student on March 13
The pair’s last sighting was at an Oklahoma Walmart on March 15
Cummins was wanted by authorities on charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor
Fugitive child abductor Tad Cummins, before he shaved and dyed his hair. The former science teacher was just arrested in California with his teen abductee in tow
15-year- old Elizabeth Thomas has been found safe, in the company of the middle-aged man she absconded with
TBI announced the arrest of Tad Cummins [left], and the safe recovery of Elizabeth Thomas [right], in California. Before the arrest the last sighting of the fast travelling pair was at an Oklahoma Walmart [photo] on March 15
Cummins, 50, who is married and has two daughters and grandchildren, allegedly abducted his former student on March 13 from her home near Columbia, Tennessee, and the two, who were thought to be in a sexual relationship, were last spotted two days later.
Their last confirmed sighting prior to the arrest was at a Walmart in Oklahoma, 700 miles away from home, after they had both dyed their hair.
The amber alert for the Tad Cummins and the teenager was sent out five weeks ago
Court papers filed recently in the girl’s disappearance say she was afraid of the teacher and thought she would face repercussions at school if she resisted him.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert for Thomas when she disappeared.
Cummins had been suspended from teaching at the Culleoka Unit School, where Thomas attends, in February after disobeying an order barring Thomas from his classroom following an incident the month before where a student reported seeing the two kissing.
The TBI revealed last month that Cummins had been reearching information on “teen marriage” online on March 5, more than a week before Thomas went missing.
The girl’s father, Anthony Thomas, had told NBC News that he believed Cummins was grooming the children in his class, burnishing his profile by telling them lies including claims that he had previously worked for the FBI and CIA.
“He had lied to all these kids,” he said. “I told them it couldn’t possibly be true,” Thomas said. He added that his daughter told him Cummins claimed to have millions of dollars and multiple pieces of property.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation sent out this tweet shortly before noon today announcing the breaking news
“For your sake and for Beth’s sake, please go to the police or please just drop Beth off somewhere safe.”
Earlier this month, his wife of 31 years, Jill Cummins, filed for divorce after 31 years of marriage, citing ‘irreconcilable differences.’
“The filing of the divorce complaint is the first step to removing Jill from this situation,” Michael Cox, her attorney, said at the time. “Jill will attempt to move forward with her life. This is a difficult time for her and her family.”
Tad Cummins, 50, was wanted by authorities on charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor.